Track 9: “Make Me Proud” feat. Nicki Minaj
Sounds Like: A ’90s R&B bump-and-grinder, at least until Drake comes in, raving about his girl who “sounds so smart, like you graduated from college.” Like TML’s “Fancy,” most of the song features Drake extolling the virtues that set his lady apart from the rest of the crowd, but unlike “Fancy,” the guest verse is (arguably) from the female in question—Nicki Minaj, who does her typical switching-tempos-and-voices thing over her minute or so of screen time, unapologetically stealing the show from Drizzy in the process.
Pros: The beat is pretty sexy—it actually sounds a lot like Portishead’s “It Could Be Sweet” before the vocals kick in, though the similarity is almost certainly coincidental. Both Drake and Nicki have their winning moments, especially the latter, who ends up bragging about her lawyers (“Popped out, I’m the realest deal / Best legal team so the deals is ill”) and memorably declaring “If I’m guardin’ / Double D up, hos / Dolly Parton.” It’s about time the Harajuku Barbie paid respect to one of her truest and baddest predecessors.
Cons: As a love song, “Make Me Proud” rings kind of hollow, especially when compared to “Fancy.” Whereas the latter was overflowing with (what appeared to be) genuine respect and admiration for the titular female (who dropped ten pounds for the summer not for her man, but just because she was the fuckin’ coldest), the former seems half-hearted and patronizing, mostly saluting the titular female for going to college and not getting too distracted from her studies, even while on Spring Break. (Really that great an accomplishment, Aubrey?) And with the exception of the Impressions’ “I’m So Proud,” it’s kinda hard to talk about being “proud” of your girl in a song’s hook without sounding kind of like an asshole.
Emo Alert!: “It’s just amazing, girl, and all I can say is / I’m so, I’m so, I’m so proud of you.”
Drake Hashtags: Hos in different area codes, OVO